As we grapple with the current digital age, trying to remember dozens of online passwords is a modern inconvenience we have all experienced. In fact, 75% of people feel it is difficult to remember passwords.
Fortunately, the old login method may become a thing of the past with passwordless authentication. As the name suggests, passwordless authentication allows users to safely and securely login to devices and online accounts without entering a password.
The way it works is actually quite simple, and there are good reasons to go passwordless. Continue reading to learn more.
How Does Passwordless Authentication Work?
You can view passwordless authentication as a type or feature of multi-factor authentication. There are many different methods. A few examples include:
- Biometrics: This is the most familiar method and could include a fingerprint scan, facial recognition, retinal scan, voice recognition, and more. However, using biometrics as a login method typically requires more modern devices or special hardware.
- Authentication Credentials Attached to a Device: Thanks to strong encryption and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology, user credentials can be associated with a specific computer or mobile device, allowing users to use a pin or biometric scan to log in.
- Hardware Security Tokens: Hardware tokens are physical devices storing a PKI credential and are another popular passwordless method among employers. These devices provide high assurance and a strong level of security. However, they can be expensive to deploy and users must adapt to carrying the devices with them.
Passwordless authentication is a perfect example of complex technology being used to simplify our digital experiences. The underlying functions of encryption, PKI, public keys and private keys are confusing even to IT professionals, but touching a sensor to gain access makes their use possible by all.
Benefits of Passwordless Authentication
There are multiple benefits for both users and employers who utilize passwordless authentication. These include:
- Convenience: No longer do users have to remember specific passwords or security questions, or emails to log in to an account. Passwordless authentication streamlines the login process, making its convenience unmatched.
- Increased Security: Weak and reused passwords are a security risk for both users and employers. In fact, 40% have had their password compromised at one point. Passwordless authentication helps reduce the chance of a data breach.
- Reduced Costs: For many businesses, maintaining passwords are expensive because they require continual maintenance from IT departments. Without password management, IT personnel have more time to focus on other IT issues.
Implications of Its Growing Prevalence
As the popularity of passwordless authentication grows, so will the need for a safe and secure network. It is important to partner with a network security provider to ensure your network is protected.